Direct visualization of CaMKII at postsynaptic densities by electron microscopy tomography. Academic Article uri icon


  • Ca(2+) /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a major component of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) involved in synaptic regulation. It has been previously shown that upon activity CaMKII from the spine reversibly aggregates at the cytoplasmic surfaces of PSDs, where it encounters various targets for phosphorylation. Targets for CaMKII are also present within the PSD, but there has been no reliable method to pinpoint whether, or where, CaMKII is located inside the PSD. Here we show that CaMKII can be mapped molecule-by-molecule within isolated PSDs using negative stain electron microscopy tomography. CaMKII molecules found in the core of the PSD may represent a pool distinct from the CaMKII residing at the cytoplasmic surface.

publication date

  • December 15, 2012